Is a brand important? Is it just about choosing a name you like, knocking up a quick logo then applying it to your packaging, business card and letterhead? This is what you need to know: your brand can be absolutely crucial to the success of your business. It?s about so much more than appearances: it?s about improving your recognition, creating a bond with your customers, and earning their trust. Your brand represents the essence you are, which is why building your brand is a vital part of your business development.

Defining Your Brand
What is it you?re offering and where does it fit in? How your brand works depends on a proper understanding of your business. Your brand should promote your business, connect with your customers and it should differentiate you in the market.

Defining your brand isn?t simply about your viewpoint however; you have to take into account how others see you. If there is a disconnect between how you see your business and how it appears to your customers, you?ll be building your brand on unstable foundations.

Do you systematically collect and analyse feedback, do you know what others think of you? Gain a good understanding of this and how it relates to where you want to position yourself.

Think of your brand?s characteristics, as if it were a person. Is it serious, light-hearted, playful or earnest? Your brand strategy should focus on how your brand identity will reflect your brand?s characteristics.

What are your objectives, what drives you? A brand should reflect a clear sense of purpose and an understanding of its positioning.

Active Brand Building
Establishing your brand is never an entirely finished task, because brand building depends on continual, consistent customer engagement.

As such, a brand is a long-term commitment and you should be looking to build lasting relationships with your customer base through your brand.

You need to speak to them in a consistent tone of voice ? how you communicate is as crucial as what you communicate, and the voice you adopt to do it is as much a part of your brand identity as your logo and your overall look.

For your brand to stand out it needs to be authentic and unique, which means avoiding mimicry of large chains or established players and attracting customers by being truly independent. You can actually use your independent status as leverage to make your brand more attractive.

Think about your key messages. You need to be able to reiterate them without appearing repetitive. Again, try to stand out, and be bold and innovative. Think about what your brand stands for and what you believe in.

You will need to build an online presence alongside your physical brand, and this will mean that your brand will have to be fluid and adaptable ? simply applying your logo across the board will not be enough.

Brand building requires diligence. You cannot afford to take your eye off the ball. Always keep your brand in mind when communicating with your customers and weave your brand identity into everything you do.

Here at Reform Creative we specialise in brand building and we understand the enduring value brands bring to business, to the extent that they are essential to success and growth.

We?re a Manchester-based creative design agency. Talk to us about your brand and see how we can help you build it.

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